A group, Mainan Zazzau Communication Committee has called on Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state to give teachers adjudged incompetent a grace of six to 12 months to update their knowledge and skills rather than outrightly sacking them.
A statement signed by the secretary of the committee, Ibrahim Adamu Zango, described the sack threat over 21,000 teachers as a huge setback to the rule of law and natural justice.
It would be recalled that 21,780 out of 33,000 primary school teachers were said to have failed the primary four exam conducted by the state government to test their competency, and the state government began shopping for 25,000 teachers to replace those who failed.
The committee said those who do not make the requisite qualifications after the grace period may then be dismissed but they must be paid all entitlements specified in their terms of service.
The committee said while Kano and Sokoto governments had fashioned remedial programmes to train and re-train under-qualified teachers, Governor El-Rufai had chosen a “totally unacceptable” way.
The committee added that the drive for a better education system must not end with the quality of teachers.
“We know that till date, pupils in 50 percent of public schools in the state sit on the floor due to absence of furniture. Most of the 4,250 public primary schools have no doors, roofs and windows. There are also no water and toilet facilities. Some of the schools are heavily over-populated. All these are fundamental problems that militate against good education for the teeming masses. They need to be tackled urgently if the government is really serious about reforming the system,” the committee said.